As educators and local education agency (LEA) administrators begin to think through the consequences of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)  requirements, some have voiced concerns about the impact that chronic absence will have on school and district ratings.

This concern is understandable considering that only last year, most LEAs reported average daily attendance (ADA) levels in the 90 percent range, a level that seemed to communicate high levels of school attendance. This year, they will report the percentage of students with  low attendance. For many schools, this number will show that a sizeable percentage of students are likely missing too much school to be academically successful.

How can schools comfortably make this shift in thinking about student absences? Attendance Works Senior Fellow Jane Sundius has developed a blog post with five points educators and LEAs can consider when thinking through their response to ESSA requirements. The post, Chronic Absence: It’s About Lost Instructional Time, Not Whether Absences are Excused or Unexcused, is the sixth in our series of posts highlighting issues related to implementation of state ESSA plans. 

Find the series on the Attendance Works website.

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